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FIC logo   John E. Fogarty International Center for Advanced Study in the Health Sciences
Mission | Important Events | Director | Programs


The John E. Fogarty International Center (FIC) for Advanced Study in the Health Sciences:

  • seeks to address disparities in global health and build research capacity through a range of activities;
  • supports international research and research training in targeted areas of emphasis;
  • provides leadership in global health;
  • identifies significant international research issues/opportunities and facilitates IC interest and involvement;
  • provides administrative services for recruitment of foreign scientists into the intramural research laboratories of the NIH; and
  • coordinates the activities of the NIH concerned with the health sciences internationally.

Important Events in FIC History

January 18, 1967 – Rep. Melvin Laird (Wisc.) proposed to Congress to establish an international research and study center at NIH as a memorial to the late Rep. John E. Fogarty (R.I.). Subsequently President Lyndon B. Johnson announced that he was seeking funds to establish the John E. Fogarty International Center for Advanced Study in the Health Sciences.

February 26, 1968 – Departmental approval was given to establish the Fogarty International Center.

March 16, 1968 – Official notice was published in the Federal Register.

July 1, 1968 – FIC became operational. The NIH Office of International Research was abolished and several of its functions were transferred to FIC.

June 1979 – The Task Force to Assess the Missions and Functions of the Fogarty International Center reported to the director, NIH, on its year-long study of the center, reaffirming FIC’s importance as the focus for international aspects of biomedical and behavioral research at NIH, and recommending specific measures for strengthening and broadening its programs.

June 1982 – FIC was designated a WHO Collaborating Center for Research and Training in Biomedicine.

September 1985 – The first meeting of the FIC Advisory Board was held.

November 1985 – FIC was established in law (P.L. 99-158, sec. 482).

Biographical Sketch of FIC Director Gerald T. Keusch, M.D.

Dr. Keusch joined NIH on October 1, 1998, as NIH associate director for international research and FIC director.

Prior to assuming these positions, he was professor of medicine and chief of geographic medicine and infectious diseases at Tufts University School of Medicine and New England Medical Center, where he established a major research and training program in infectious diseases and international health. He also served as scientific director of the health group at the Harvard Institute for International Development, where he oversaw long-term research projects to increase research capacity in developing countries.

Dr. Keusch is an internationally recognized expert in infectious diseases. Among other areas, his research has focused on molecular pathogenesis of enteric infections and vaccine development and on the effects of malnutrition on immune response and host defenses. He has conducted studies in Central America, Asia and Africa, where he directed one of the NIH-supported International Collaboration on AIDS Research projects on the epidemiology and natural history of chronic diarrhea and wasting syndrome (“slim disease”).

A graduate of Columbia College in 1958, he earned an M.D. from Harvard University Medical School in 1963. Following a medical internship at the State University of New York at Buffalo, he spent 2 years in Bangkok, Thailand, working at the South East Asia Treaty Organization Medical Research Laboratory as a research associate under the NIH International Research Career Development Program.

Dr. Keusch was professor of medicine in the department of medicine, division of infectious diseases, at Mount Sinai Hospital and School of Medicine in New York from 1970-1979, when he came to Tufts University School of Medicine and New England Medical Center in Boston to establish the division of geographic medicine. From 1986 until he joined the NIH, he was a senior attending physician at New England Medical Center and chief of the hospital’s division of infectious diseases.

FIC Directors

Date of Birth
In Office From
Milo D. Leavitt, Jr. June 24, 1915 June 16, 196 July 1978
Leon Jacobs Mar. 26, 1915 July 1, 1978 June 29, 1979
Edwin D. Becker (Acting) May 3, 1930 July 1979 April 1980
Vida H. Beaven June 2, 1939 April 1980 January 1981
Claude Lenfant Oct. 12, 1928 February 1981 July 1982
Mark S. Beaubien (Acting) Oct. 20, 1921 July 1, 1982 January 1984
Craig K. Wallace Dec. 4, 1928 January 1984 December 1988
Carl Kupfer (Acting) Feb. 9, 1928 Jan. 1, 1988 July 1988
Philip E. Schambra Nov. 8, 1934 August 1988 Sept. 30, 1998
Gerald T. Keusch Apr. 30, 1938 Oct. 1, 1998  

Research Programs


In collaboration with NIAID, NICHD, NIMH, NIDA, NIDCR and NCI, the FIC AIDS International Training and Research Program enables U.S. universities and other institutions to provide HIV/AIDS-related research training to scientists and health professionals from developing nations and to forge collaborative ties with research institutions in countries impacted by the AIDS virus. The program focuses on prevention of HIV transmission.

In collaboration with NIEHS, CDC’s National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and National Center for Environmental Health, and the Environmental Protection Agency, the International Training and Research Program in Environmental and Occupational Health funds nonprofit public or private institutions to support international training and research programs in general environmental and occupational health for foreign health scientists, clinicians, epidemiologists, toxicologists, engineers, industrial hygienists, chemists and allied health workers.

In cooperation with NICHD and NIA, the FIC International and Training Research Program in Population and Health funds U.S. nonprofit public or private institutions to support population-related sciences research.

The FIC, in collaboration with NIAID, NIDCR and the NIH Office of Research on Minority Health, funds nonprofit public or private institutions to support the International Training and Research Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases. The program aims to train scientists and health care workers from developing nations in research, control, and prevention strategies; facilitate collaboration; and enhance domestic research programs in emerging and reemerging infectious diseases.

FIC is the U.S. Government’s organizational locus for the International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups Program, an inter-agency effort to integrate improvement of human health through drug discovery, incentives for conservation of biodiversity, and new models of sustainable economic activity through research and capacity-building programs in biodiversity-rich developing countries. The program is funded and maintained jointly by NIH, the National Science Foundation, and the Foreign Agricultural Service of the USDA.

In collaboration with NIAID and NLM, the FIC supports an International Training Program in Medical Informatics. The program, which focuses on sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, aims to build the capacity of biomedical scientists, clinicians, librarians, and other health professionals in developing countries to access, utilize, and construct computer-based tools such as automated libraries, online communication, databases, and analytical software that may best advance biomedical research and public health in those countries.

The Tuberculosis International Training and Research Program, a collaboration with NIAID, CDC and USAID, provides support for programs to build global health research and public health capacity to better respond to the threat posed by TB in general, and multi-drug resistant TB in particular. Awards are made as supplements to existing grants under the FIC AIDS International Training and Research Program or the International Training and Research Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases. They aim to strengthen laboratory infrastructure in support of TB surveillance and research, build public health capabilities for surveillance and clinical trials of promising new TB interventions and therapies, and enhance the capability of developing countries to manage TB programs and conduct operational research related to TB prevention and control.

Through the Actions for Building Capacity (ABC) Awards in support of the NIAID International Collaborations in Infectious Disease Research (ICIDR) Program, FIC stimulates high-quality training and supports collaborative training-related research on infectious diseases that are predominantly endemic in or impact upon people living in tropical countries. Awards, made to awardees of ICIDR grants, aim to increase expertise of scientists in developing countries in infectious disease-related biomedical control and prevention research; expand ongoing collaborative training in infectious disease research and biomedical research between U.S. and foreign scientists; and establish or strengthen infectious diseases research, treatment and control centers of excellence in the trainees’ home countries.

In collaboration with NICHD and the NIH Office of Research on Minority Health, FIC’s International Maternal and Child Health Research and Training Program supports training-related research on maternal and child health issues that are predominately endemic in or impact on people living in developing countries. Awards are meant to facilitate the research to be undertaken under NICHD’s International Collaborations in Maternal and Child Health Program.

The International Bioethics Education and Career Development Award provides funds to develop or expand on current graduate curricula in international bioethics related to performing research in low- and middle-income countries. This program is supported in collaboration with NIAID, NHLBI, NIAMS, NCCAM, NICHD, NIGMS, NINR and NIDA.

FIC’s International Studies on Health and Economic Development Program examines the effects of health and microeconomic agents and aggregate growth, and explores how health finance and delivery systems are a source of variation in health outcomes. This new program is supported in collaboration with The World Bank, NIA, NIMH, NIDCR, NEI and the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research.

In cooperation with the NIH Office of Research on Minority Health, FIC has established a Minority International Research Training Program to provide international educational training and research opportunities to groups underrepresented in the scientific professions. Training grants are provided to U.S. colleges and universities, including consortia with minority representation, to stimulate students to pursue scientific careers by enhancing their undergraduate and graduate training through international experiences.

A small grants program, the Fogarty International Research Collaboration Awards, or FIRCA, is offered to U.S. institutions for collaboration between U.S. principal investigators on regular NIH research grants and scientists in Africa, Asia (except Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan), Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and the non-U.S. Caribbean, the Middle East, and Pacific Ocean Islands (except Australia and New Zealand). The FIRCA provides funds for supplies and equipment necessary to the collaborative research project (for the foreign collaborator’s laboratory only), and funds for travel for the U.S. principal investigator, the foreign researcher, and/or associates. A similar award, the HIV/AIDS and Related Illnesses Collaboration Award, provides small grants in support of cooperative HIV/AIDS research between NIH grant recipients and foreign institutions throughout the world.


The FIC International Research Scientist Development Award supports basic, behavioral, and clinical U.S. scientists who are committed to a career in international health research. Awards provide for a period of mentored research as part of an established collaboration between a U.S. sponsor and leading scientists at a developing country center of scientific excellence. Awardees are encouraged to address global health research priorities including both infectious and chronic/ degenerative conditions and mental health disorders.

Several foreign countries support fellowships that enable U.S. biomedical researchers who hold doctoral degrees to spend up to a year in a foreign research laboratory. The FIC publicizes the availability of postdoctoral research fellow- ships from the Israeli Ministry of Health, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, the Japanese Science and Technology Agency, the Swedish Medical Research Council, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany, and the National Science Council in Taiwan. The FIC also arranges for receipt and technical merit review of applications and transmits the applications and reviewers’ comments to the awarding country for final selection and funding.

International Relations

The FIC serves as the coordinating link between NIH and other U.S. agencies, foreign governments and international organizations on international biomedical research matters. It is responsible for the administrative oversight of all inter- governmental agreements in which the NIH participates.

The center also fosters and facilitates international cooperation in biomedical research by disseminating information on foreign biomedical research activities to the NIH research institutes and informing foreign agencies and institutions, including WHO, about the international activities of the NIH; initiating, developing and supporting, in cooperation with other NIH offices, new activities to address international health problems; preparing background materials for NIH senior staff participation in international meetings and discussions; providing advice to the director and deputy director, NIH, and to senior staff of the NIH research institutes on policies and procedures relating to international activities; assisting the institutes by obtaining clearances for awards requiring State Department approval and by interpreting DHHS and State Department procedures relating to international travel; serving as a channel for communications to and from U.S. embassies abroad and foreign embassies in Washington; and coordinating responses to inquiries on international issues.

The FIC ensures that NIH interests are represented as new opportunities for research collaboration in the life sciences arising through initiatives of the U.S. Government, foreign governments, multilateral and international organizations. The center has accepted the responsibility to serve as secretariat of the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria, an alliance of organizations and individuals from developing and developed countries aimed at advancing malaria research while at the same time promoting research capacity building in Africa and facilitating global collaboration and coordination on malaria.

In its role as a WHO Collaborating Center for Research and Training in Biomedicine, the FIC provides research fellowships and grants, conducts studies, and sponsors workshops involving the NIH, WHO, PAHO and U.S. and foreign biomedical research organizations to identify and further strengthen the health of the U.S. population and contribute to the enhancement of health worldwide.

As the NIH focus of international activities, the FIC has both an integrative and administrative role in activities supported by other PHS components and other Federal agencies. The FIC is the NIH representative in maintaining liaison with such international organizations as WHO, PAHO, the European Union, and the European Medical Research Councils.

The FIC director meets regularly with IC directors and international representatives of the NIH IC’s to exchange information and views on ongoing and prospective NIH international activities.

International Services Branch

The ISB provides support to foreign scientists in the NIH visiting, special volunteer, and guest researcher programs.

For foreign scientists engaged in NIH intramural research, the ISB handles administrative and immigration matters. ISB also provides visa assistance to foreign special experts, exchange scientists, special volunteers, and visiting fellows engaged in research in the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, FDA.

International Science Policy and Analysis

FIC exercises leadership by advancing NIH research needs and opportunities in a global context, and by analyzing international policy issues that affect the course and conduct of biomedical science. The center provides continuing analysis of cross-cutting policy issues and promotes international fora on emerging scientific and medical challenges.

Emphasis is placed on:

  • the identification of current and future research needs and policy issues that require international coordination;
  • international strategies to share research costs and pool efforts toward mutual scientific goals;
  • the role of international programs and policies in meeting U.S. and global human resource needs in biomedical research;
  • ethical, social, and legal consideration related to international research; and
  • national competitiveness issues and international cooperation.
This page was last reviewed on June 30, 2005 .

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